I am a little puzzled by the apparent (user idents are gender opaque) lack of women participants in this site. Are there women participants? Do women feel excluded by the culture of this site? Are there perhaps women who participate but feel uncomfortable about identifying their gender? Our user demographic includes people from many countries and languages, yet 50% of the smart people in the world are under-represented.

Perhaps there is more we can do to invite and include women participants. Your thoughts?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the gender opacity is by design. Most sites I've seen at least have the option to set your gender on the profile page. Quite a lot actually force you to when signing up. Stack Exchange doesn't even have the option. Given how much work tends to go into Stack Exchange's UX design, I assume this is not an accident. (I'd also hold that gender ought to be irrelevant on a site like this. Perhaps not on every SE site but certainly on this one.) \$\endgroup\$ – marinus Apr 18 '15 at 2:27

I find this a bizarre question to ask. It admits that its base assumption is unjustified: we don't have the demographic data to support the claim in the last sentence of the first paragraph. The only people on this site to whom I could confidently attribute a gender are a handful who use a real name, two or three who use a photo for their avatar, and one who has discussed their sexual identity on chat.

The best argument to support the idea that women would make up significantly less than 50% of the participants in PPCG would be that PPCG draws from a mathmo/techie subculture which itself has a significant demographic skew. But it's fairly obvious that PPCG doesn't have the influence to make a non-negligible difference at that scale.

And on the flip side, if the assumption is true then this meta is the worst place to find solutions.


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